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Is your business really covered?

When you run a small business, you probably feel as though you understand all the important and even many unimportant elements of your business operation. From how your paperwork and invoices are filed to the schedule of deliveries from your suppliers, knowing many of these facts can help you run your business and provides the underpinning for your long-term planning and the determination of other goals.

One aspect of your business that is important to understand is your insurance coverage. Many people think of an insurance policy as something like a black box, albeit, one that may go on for a few dozen or hundred pages. But you assume that if you have a loss in the future, that is in there, somewhere, and it will be covered.

The reality is no matter what name your policy is identified with or even the items listed within the terms of the policy, if there are mistakes or errors, you may find your coverage is less than expected.

For instance, it is important that every building or vehicle listed as covered meets the contractual terms of that allow coverage. If you own multiple buildings or locations, is the policyholder, your business, actually the owner of that property? If the business owner is the titled owner of a vehicle and not the business, then that businesses' policy will likely not cover that vehicle in the event of an accident or other policy claim.

The same is true of your structures. If you have your property titled in different names, say for tax purposes, you should review your insurance coverage to ensure that the correct policies match up with the assets. You also want to check that all of your property that is supposed to be covered by a particular policy is, in fact, covered and accurately described within that policy.

These are not the types of issues you want to discover when making a claim or during an insurance dispute over coverage.

Source: insurancejournal.com, "7 Simple Underwriting Questions Nobody Asks," Christopher J. Boggs, December 14, 2015

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